Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)

Legacy Collection

Innovation. Research. Action.

After almost 35 years Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) has ceased operations. The organization leaves behind an incredible legacy of knowledge, including hundreds of research reports, case studies and evaluations about how best to improve programs and outcomes for children, youth and families. We are fortunate that P/PV has decided to archive its publications collection with the Foundation Center's IssueLab so that practitioners can benefit from this knowledge for years to come.

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Supporting Second Chances: Employment Strategies for Reentry Programs

February 8, 2013

The Second Chance Act supports a range of reentry programs around the country, designed to help those returning from jail or prison make a successful transition to life on the outside. In 2008, the Annie E. Casey Foundation commissioned Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) to create a resource that would be useful for Second Chance Act grantees as they develop employment strategies, by distilling lessons from research on a range of employment programs. "Supporting Second Chances" offers concrete suggestions for practitioners, based on a review of relevant literature and P/PV's own extensive experience with reentry and workforce development research and programming. The guide explores strategies in three major areas:Services aimed at helping people find immediate employment;Services that provide paid job experiences to participants; andServices that help people gain occupational skills.For each area, we provide: an overview of the approach, including its history and a brief definition; a high-level summary of the most recent and rigorous research available about the approach; an example of the approach in action; key "takeaways" for Second Chance Act grantees and other programs serving formerly incarcerated individuals; and where to go to learn more.Since the ultimate success of an employment strategy may hinge on a range of additional supports, the guide also features a section called "Beyond Getting a Job," which presents three approaches to help formerly incarcerated individuals get the most out of their paychecks and move into better jobs. The final section synthesizes lessons drawn from across the studies reviewed for the guide.

An Alternative to Temporary Staffing: Considerations for Workforce Practitioners

July 2, 2012

The temporary staffing industry has become a fixture of the US economy in recent decades, and workforce practitioners are increasingly noting the prevalence of temporary jobs in the low-skilled labor market. To ensure that these jobs are a stepping stone for job seekers -- and to tap into additional sources of revenue -- a growing number of social service organizations have launched their own staffing businesses, known as alternative staffing organizations (ASOs).

Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study

July 1, 2010

Over the past two decades, an innovative approach to workforce development known as sectoral employment has emerged, resulting in the creation of industry-specific training programs that prepare unemployed and underskilled workers for skilled positions and connect them with employers seeking to fill such vacancies. In 2003, with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, P/PV launched the "Sectoral Employment Impact Study" to rigorously assess whether mature, nonprofit-led sector-focused programs could increase the earnings of disadvantaged workers and job seekers. P/PV selected three organizations to participate in the study -- a community-based organization focused on medical and basic office skills in Boston, a social venture focused on information technology in the Bronx, and an employer-union partnership focused on healthcare, manufacturing and construction in Milwaukee. The study's findings show that program participants earned about $4,500 -- 18 percent -- more than the control group over the course of the study and $4,000 -- 29 percent -- more in the second year alone. Study participants were also more likely to find employment, work more consistently, work in jobs that paid higher wages, and work in jobs that offered benefits. Furthermore, there were earnings gains for each subgroup analyzed, including African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals and young adults. Tuning In to Local Labor Markets also examines the strategies employed by the three organizations that took part in the study, as well as the common elements that appeared to be critical to their success. Implications for practice, policy and future research are explored; a forthcoming piece will provide detailed recommendations for policymakers.

Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study, Executive Summary

July 1, 2010

This executive summary highlights the main findings and conclusions from "Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study" -- the first random assignment evaluation of sector-focused training efforts. We studied three nonprofit organizations -- a community-based organization focused on medical and basic office skills in Boston, a social venture focused on information technology in the Bronx, and an employer-union partnership focused on healthcare, manufacturing and construction in Milwaukee -- and found that participants in these programs worked more, had higher earnings and found better jobs (as measured by hourly wages and access to benefits) than members of the control group.The executive summary examines strategies used by the three organizations in the study, describes the people served, and outlines common elements that likely contributed to the programs success.

Mentoring Former Prisoners: A Guide for Reentry Programs

November 1, 2009

Few social programs have attempted to provide high-risk adults -- and, particularly, former prisoners -- with mentors. And thus there are few resources that offer practical advice and recommendations for mentoring this population, given its distinct needs, assets and challenges. While much remains to be tested and learned, this manual draws on the experience of the 11 sites involved in P/PV'sReady4Work prisoner reentry demonstration, as well as established best practices in the mentoring field, to provide guidelines for practitioners who are interested in developing a mentoring program to support former prisoners and enhance the effectiveness of other reentry services, such as employment and case management services.The guide was originally published by the US Department of Labor in November 2007 under the title Mentoring Ex-Prisoners: A Guide for Prisoner Reentry Programs. However, because of growing interest in establishing mentoring programs as part of larger reentry efforts around the country, P/PV decided to reissue the guide, along with updated information related to P/PV's evaluation of Ready4Work (particularly findings published in Mentoring Formerly Incarcerated Adults, 2009.)

Working Dads: Final Report on the Fathers at Work Initiative

October 1, 2009

Noncustodial fathers have an essential role to play -- both financially and emotionally -- in the lives of their children. However, of the 11 million noncustodial fathers in the US, two thirds do not pay any formal child support. Many of these fathers are poor themselves and face multiple barriers, including low education levels, limited work experience, and criminal records, which impede their success in the labor market as well as their ability to provide for their children.Working Dads: Final Report on the Fathers at Work Initiative presents findings from P/PV's evaluation of Fathers at Work, a national demonstration funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, designed to help low-income noncustodial fathers increase their employment and earnings, become more involved in their children's lives, and provide them with more consistent financial support. The Fathers at Work programs offered a unique combination of job training and placement, child support and fatherhood services at six well-established community-based organizations in Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, CA; and Roanoke, VA. Our findings suggest that the programs produced important benefits for participants, including increased earnings and child support payment. The report details the specific strategies Fathers at Work programs used and explores the policy implications of this research.

Job Training That Works: Findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study

May 1, 2009

Public funding for employment and training has dwindled over the past several decades. Yet in communities all over the United States, there has been considerable development of alternative approaches to help low-income people gain skills for particular industry sectors. In 2003, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, P/PV launched the Sectoral Employment Impact Study to test the efficacy of one such approach. Using a random-assignment design, P/PV researchers set out to answer the question: Can well-implemented, sector-focused training programs make a difference to the earnings of low-income disadvantaged workers and job seekers? Three organizations were selected to participate in the study: Jewish Vocational Service in Boston, Per Scholas in the Bronx and the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership in Milwaukee. This issue of P/PV In Brief summarizes impacts found for participants across the three sites, including increases in earnings and employment; a more detailed report on the study will be released in late 2009.

Mentoring Formerly Incarcerated Adults: Insights from the Ready4Work Reentry Initiative

February 10, 2009

This report explores mentoring as a tool for supporting the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals within the context of a larger reentry strategy -- in this case, the Ready4Workmodel. Ready4Work was a three-year national demonstration designed to address the needs of the growing ex-prisoner population and to test the capacity of community- and faith-based organizations to meet those needs. This report describes Ready4Work's mentoring component; it examines the extent to which mentoring was attractive to participants, the types of adults who volunteered to serve as mentors and how receipt of mentoring was related to participants' outcomes, including program retention, job placement, and recidivism. While this research was not designed to assess the precise impact of mentoring on formerly incarcerated adults, it provides a first look at how mentoring, or supportive relationships more broadly, can fit into comprehensive reentry efforts.

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